Cloud computing, social networks, big data, security creating new model for technology: CEO
At Dell’s annual Dell World global conference last week, the computer company showed strong commitment to providing computing solutions aimed at helping customers address the biggest challenges in the new technology environment that embraces cloud computing, social media, mobility, big data and security.
Michael Dell, chairman and CEO, said that today, cloud computing, social networks, big data and security are creating a new model for technology that leads to a new model for society. It is the foundation model for the infrastructure that connects the world. Dell provides technologies and solutions to get people and businesses to increase their productivity.
Focus on innovation
Innovation is the key to success. Dell is expanding its venture investments to new areas of IT innovation.
“We are a private company again. We’ve got financial strength and capital structure. As a private company we have the freedom to invest in the emerging market, PCs, tablets, software, solutions and data centres. We focus 100 per cent on customers. We have a long-term commitment. We grow much faster than the industry, thanks to partners and customers,” he said.
Technologies Dell helps to bring to the market are simple, industry standard and cost-effective. They really become the basics for the whole PC-server paradigm – backbone information technology that allows the company to bring powerful capabilities to the billions of people who have never got access before.
Technologies have been transforming businesses around the world for decades. It is continuing.
“Our vision with a consistency strategy through the last five years is to become the leading provider of end-to-end scaled solutions. We invested US$13 billion, doubling the enterprise services solution business from about $10 billion to more than $20 billion. And we built across the portfolio. Now, as a private company, we accelerate our strategy, take a longer-term view of innovation,” he said.
Dell has launched two programmes focusing on innovation – internal investment in innovation and investment in the Dell Venture Fund.
Dell’s innovations are organic innovations. They are embedded into all of Dell’s products and solutions. It also includes a lot of collaboration with universities in research and development to transform technologies into businesses engines.
Dell Ventures is its strategic investment arm. It is an innovation fund that helps identify, fund and fuel visionary technologies that anticipate and address future IT needs. The $300 million Strategic Innovation Venture Fund invests in early-to-growth-stage companies in emerging technology areas including storage, cloud computing, big data, next-generation data centre, security and mobility.
“We identified four key things that customers really need. They are transform, connected, inform and protect,” he said.
Transform means all about transforming customers to the new technology environment, especially the environment of cloud computing. Connect means delivering mobility, while the PC continues to be important and the PC is still the key to Dell’s strategy, aligned with the bring your own device (BYOD) phenomenon.
Inform is to help customers gain control of their data, focusing on big data, storage and analytics. Protect means security and data protection.
“As the global business environment evolves and customers are increasingly challenged by the pace of change with virtualisation, cloud computing, big data and mobility, when you go on a cloud, go with Dell,” he said.
Dell also unveiled the Dell Cloud Partner Programme with Google and Microsoft. Dell and Google will push cloud innovations into the market, making highly-scalable cloud solutions easier for customers of all sizes and across all industries to obtain and consume.
Dell and Microsoft will offer choice and flexibility to customers, giving businesses a competitive advantage when implementing a public cloud. With Windows Azure and Dell Cloud offerings, customers can easily deploy on-demand cloud infrastructure that scales and adapts to evolving business needs.
Dell has jointly engineered with Red Hat enterprise-grade, private cloud solutions based on OpenStack to help customers move to and deploy highly-scalable cloud computing models. Dell has joined hands with Dropbox to offer solutions to businesses of all sizes with Dell Data Protection (Cloud Edition) for customers of Dropbox for Business.
Dell is bringing Dropbox for Business to its customers via its global sales team.
“Our customers are very diverse groups, . We have very broad customers and partners. We understand customers’ problems and offer opportunities with solutions, which are integrated with hardware, software, services and end-to-end-solutions,” he said.
Brian Gladden, chief financial officer, said Dell is committed to bringing the most innovative, affordable and easy-to-manage technology solutions to its customers.
Dell has made five key strategic investments:
_ Expand its solution offering including investment in research and development (R&D), mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and ventures.
_ Enhance and simplify customer experiences
_ Expand its presence in emerging markets around the globe
_ Grow its PC, tablet and virtual computing services
_ Expand sales force channel relationships to better serve and support customers
Dell Venture is dedicated to the success of tech entrepreneurs and is aligned with Dell’s own strategy and growth objectives. The model is an investment relevant to Dell’s strategic objective sand priorities, investing $5 million-$15 million, averaging $3 million-$5 million.
Dell Ventures’ model is to co-invest with venture capitalists and other strategic actors, servicng as a board adviser and making the full breadth of Dell resources available to the portfolio company.
These resources include technical and business counsel, as well as access to brand scale, original equipment manufacturer solutions, and channel and go-to-market relationships.
“To accomplish this, we will aggressively pursue organic investment in R&D, acquisitions and venture capital. The expansion of our venture investing will allow us to stay at the forefront of innovation for our customers and support the entrepreneurs who are helping shape the future of IT,” he said.
Besides equipping start-ups with resources through Dell Ventures, Dell provides entrepreneurs of all stages access to the technology, financing, networks and knowledge they need to turn a great idea into a successful, growing business through the Dell Centre for Entrepreneurs.
Suresh Vaswani, president of Dell Services, said Dell Services continues gaining momentum with customers in healthcare and BFSI. New digital transformation solutions help banking, financial services, securities and insurance (BFSI) organisations better engage customers and significantly improve operations.
Dell Services continues to expand its offerings including consulting, cloud services, application services and business process outsourcing to help industries respond to growing demands and manage their futures.
This year Dell Services achieved a 50-per-cent rise in consulting engagements by helping healthcare providers navigate reimbursement changes, increasing adoption of electronic medical records (EMRs) and enabling technology that better connects providers with their patients. More than 4,000 hospitals and 400,000 physicians worldwide work with Dell.
Dell Services introduced a cloud-based hospital information system that delivers seamlessly integrated clinical and financial systems for hospitals and health providers. The solution will launch first in India early next year and will ensure that providers have smooth access and instant information availability by supporting core clinical tasks and back-end needs. It is scalable, cost effective, widely accessible and flexible to suit the unique needs of Indian healthcare providers.
For banking, Dell brought out digital transformation frameworks and payment transformation services to help banks reduce costs and better retain customers while complying with recent regulations.
“Our next-generation services help customers transform, connect, inform and protect their organisations. It helps simplify and modernise businesses’ front-to-back processes to allow them to take advantage of cloud computing, mobility, social media and analytics,” he said.
Angela Fox, vice president and general manager of Dell Services in Asia-Pacific and Japan, said Asia-Pacific is a strategic market for Dell’s services. The service business is a high growth and high potential business for Dell that last year contributed $8 billion to company revenue. Dell’s solution business includes enterprise solutions and services. Last year they together contributed nearly half of Dell’s overall margin.
Dell’s core business is beyond PCs but it is all about end-user computing solutions, said David Schmoock, president of global sales of Dell’s end-user computing solutions.
Dell also rolled out enterprise mobility management (EMM) solutions that support enterprise customers’ biggest challenges in dealing with “bring your own” and “choose your own” environments.
EMM is built on a unified solution to provide mobile device management, mobile application management, mobile content management and a Secure Remote Access gateway to establish secure endpoints.
New solutions and technology integration within Dell’s mobility and BYOD offerings provide customers the tools to increase workforce productivity, while also ensuring secure control over corporate assets.
Marius Haas, chief commercial officer and president of Dell’s Enterprise Solution unit, said Dell’s plan next year is to expand in two dimensions – optimising its coverage investments including Asia and around the globe and introducing strategic products and solutions.
“Next year, we will have several big announcements for emerging markets,” he said.
Focus on social media
Burk Buechler, director for social media and digital marketing, said Dell also focuses on social media both for internal use and for service provisioning. Dell’s social media services are a series of offers built to help organisations across a variety of industries develop real-time customer insights, engage audiences and better understand their customers and the market.
“Dell social media services are rooted in the company’s own innovation of using social media to listen to and engage with its customers and is coupled with a deep understanding of customers’ business needs and enterprise IT environments,” he said.
Being active in the social media space for many years, Dell’s social media services are developed to help businesses better understand what is being said about their brand, as well as how to use social media to improve brand reputation and customer service.
Dell works with the customer to design, build and operate a social media command centre integrating it across the business as a foundational listening function for all customer-facing departments.